Elevate Difference

Barking Up The Wrong Tree

You either love European electronica or you hate it. Growing up in a very Mid-American rave scene, I like to believe I’ve moved beyond partying in vacant co-opted strip malls and refined my tastes in all things club music. Camille Jones is a Danish pop singer and producer, but thankfully for her international audience, she sings her breathy tracks in English. Best known for her 2004 single “The Creeps,” Jones’ new release, Barking Up The Wrong Tree is an excellent example of what modern Euro electropop can be.

Maybe your definition of club is not mine. Just because I used to wear those embarrassing homemade bead bracelets doesn’t mean I haven’t grown up, nor does it mean I adopted tube top club culture. I don’t need to get all sweaty and writhe around on the dance floor, deafened by amps pumping DJ music. I’m perfectly content for the “club” to consist of uncomfortable couches, Moroccan-themed appetizers, overpriced unpronounceable drinks, and a tiny corner for the turntables. From the unobtrusive speakers, I expect to hear mellow, uncomplicated jams like Jones’.

“Difficult Guys” immediately became my repeat-one song of the week—press play, let it cycle through again and again. In addition to the booty-shakin’ beat, I kept wondering about her reference to liking “difficult guys, ordinary girls know they shouldn’t fall for.” Is Jones yet another single straight gal trying to hook up with her gay male pals? “They don’t like girls/I’m barking up the wrong tree.” I once kissed my gay best friend before he came out. Luckily, I learned that lesson young.

Jones’ songs are not overtly feminist, but they’re a pleasurable enough listen and make a solid addition to a soundtrack of understated female dance pop. “I Am (What You Want Me To Be)” is either a nod to conformity—in Danish, there’s a concept called janteloven that might be appropriate to employ here—or a big ironic middle finger to anyone with expectations. I suspect the former, but I retain high hopes for discovering rebel Danes.

Written by: Brittany Shoot, July 12th 2009